At the end of World War II, Germany was in shambles. It had lost the war and sustained heavy damages to its infrastructure. The country further suffered from a shortage of skilled labor — in particular, builders, carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
To solve the crisis, Germany focused on higher education and training — any student who wished to enroll in college had to submit an apprenticeship certificate attesting that he had worked as an apprentice in his/her respective trade for at least nine months. Eventually, Germany was able to solve its shortage in manpower problem. The country which had emerged from a war has today become a global economic and industrial entity.
It has achieved all of this by focusing on education.
Let us now take a look at our own education system and its achievements, especially in the health sector. Thirty years ago, the percentage of Saudi medical doctors was 15 percent of doctors in the Kingdom. Latest statistics by the Ministry of Health show that this percentage has not changed.
Why has the percentage of Saudi doctors not increased in all these years? What has the Ministry of Higher Education done to change this? What about the Ministry of Planning; where does it, if at all, fit in the picture? Is there any coordination between the ministries of Higher Education, Health and Planning to design strategies that would help increase the percentage of Saudi nationals working as doctors?
We cannot succeed if we do not constantly reevaluate our strategies and strive to be better.